Three Northern California Cities Within Top 25 in ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings Nationwide



For Immediate Release: June 16, 2021

Media Contact: Julia Giarmoleo,, 213-326-2033


Three Northern California Cities Within Top 25 in ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings Nationwide

San Francisco comes in at #3, San Jose and Sacramento in Top 25

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing its annual “Top Cities” list, spotlighting the cities with the greatest number of ENERGY STAR certified commercial and multifamily buildings last year. San Francisco comes in at #3 nationwide, with more than 340 ENERGY STAR certified buildings, San Jose makes #18 with 104 buildings, and Sacramento at #22 with 77.

“Northern California cities are taking the lead and reducing their environmental impact, cutting energy costs and proving that Energy Star can help save money and protect our environment,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Jordan. “By using less energy, we can reduce carbon pollution and fight the effects of climate change.”

“The growing number of ENERGY STAR certifications in the City is a great example of San Franciscans continuing to lead the way in climate action,” said Debbie Raphael, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. “Through increased energy efficiency upgrades, renewable energy, and building electrification, we can be proud of our City’s commitment to becoming a carbon-neutral, All-Electric City of the future.”

“I want to thank all the building owners in San Jose who stepped up and improved their energy efficiency under the City’s Energy and Water Building Performance Ordinance,” said Kerrie Romanow, director of the San Jose Environmental Services Department and the City’s chief sustainability officer. “The Building Performance Ordinance will save owners of large buildings money on their energy bills and help our community achieve the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals of Climate Smart San Jose, our climate action plan, and the Paris Climate Agreement.”

Commercial buildings are responsible for 18 percent of the nation’s energy use and cost more than $190 billion per year in energy bills. ENERGY STAR certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings. Across the country, nearly 6,500 commercial buildings earned the ENERGY STAR last year.

First released in 2009, EPA’s list of cities with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings shows how buildings across America are embracing energy efficiency as a simple and effective way to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To create the annual list, EPA tallies the number of ENERGY STAR certified buildings within each metropolitan area, as defined by the U.S. Census. These areas include the city itself as well as surrounding suburbs.

As of the end of 2020, over the lifetime of the program more than 37,000 buildings across America had earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification. Together, these buildings have saved more than $5 billion on energy bills and prevented nearly 22 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions—equal to the annual emissions of more than 2.6 million homes. 

To earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR, a commercial building must earn an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher on EPA’s 1 – 100 scale, indicating that it is more energy efficient than 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide. When calculating a building’s ENERGY STAR score, ENERGY STAR takes into account multiple factors, including hours of operation, energy use, and occupancy. This means that, despite buildings operating differently during the COVID pandemic, ENERGY STAR scores and certification still reflect actual, measured energy efficiency.


More on ENERGY STAR Top Cities, including the 2020 ranking of top small and mid-sized cities, as well as last year’s rankings:

Search for ENERGY STAR certified buildings:

More about earning the ENERGY STAR certification for commercial buildings:

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter.





If you would rather not receive future communications from Environmental Protection Agency, let us know by clicking here.
Environmental Protection Agency, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 United States